Facebook making it tougher to advertise during the 2020 U.S. presidential election

Facebook has announced that it will be making it tougher to register to advertise during the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential elections. It hopes the move will restrict questionable entities posting ads which could be misleading or untrue. Until now, advertisers were able to add “misleading” ‘Paid for by’ disclaimers; from mid-September, however, they’ll be required to state the name of the organization pushing the ad.

With the new process, there are five ways that an entity can register to publish ads. If an entity wants their ad ‘i’ icon to contain a ‘Confirmed Organization’ flag they must register with a U.S. address, phone number, business email, and business website with the matching email, additionally they must supply their tax-registered organization identification number (EIN), or a government website domain that matches an email ending in .gov or .mil, or provide a Federal Election Commission (FEC) identification number.

Those who don’t have those credentials such as businesses or local politicians will be able to register with two other options including submitting an organization name by supplying a verifiable phone number, business email, mail-deliverable address, and a business website with a domain that matches the email, or by providing no organizational information and relying solely on the Page Admin’s legal name on their personal identification document. If advertisers use these methods, the ‘i’ information box will read “About this ad” rather than “Confirmed Organization”. This will further help voters regarding which ads they can and cannot trust.

As we approach the elections, Facebook will be furthering its ad transparency efforts. There will be enhancements to Ad Library which will make it easier to track and compare the spending of presidential candidates, it’ll prohibit ads that discourage people from voting at all, national candidates or elected official will be required to enable two-factor authentication and verify their primary country location, and lastly, Facebook will provide users will more information about Pages such as the business or organization that runs it.

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